Gov. DeSantis signs Florida property insurance bill

Law forbids contractors from soliciting homeowners to file roofing claims, among other things

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Friday that is meant to give relief to a large sector of the state’s insurance industry.

Faced with losses from rising claims, the industry welcomed changes that would restrict some practices by contractors. The law would forbid contractors from soliciting homeowners to file roofing claims. The law also would narrow the time frame in which homeowners can file claims, from three years to two years, and enacts new rules on litigation.

While some insurers say the new measures will help keep costs down, critics say it could raise premiums on homeowners who get coverage from the state's provider of last resort. The same legislation raised the cap on annual rate increases that the government-backed insurer, Citizens Property Insurance, can charge its customers. That cap will rise from 10% to 15% over the next five years.

Insurers had sought much more from lawmakers during this year's legislative session, but had to settle for a scaled-back bill that removed some key provisions — including one that would have allowed insurers to more strictly limit coverage for replacing damaged roofs.

The governor signed the bill after holding a brief round table in Sarasota.